Families in the rural village of Cangumbang, Palo now have their own community garden thanks to VFV volunteer Daria Hammerschmidt.
During her five months volunteering with VFV, Daria was inspired to create a project that would help move the people of Cangumbang towards self-sustainability.
The 20-year-old from Freiburg, Germany who plans to study medicine began her volunteer experience in a VFV-affiliated health clinic.
“I got the idea for creating my own project when I was fundraising for the clinic,” explained Daria.
“I raised more than $500 after sending just one mail to my family and friends — everyone at home said I could raise even more.”
After work at the clinic dried up Daria set her sights on developing her own project — one that would leave a lasting impact on a struggling community.
“I decided to start a project that would provide Cangumbang with a source of income.”
Funds raised in Germany were used to purchase tools and seeds and Daria and VFV negotiated a land deal for the garden.
From May to September Daria worked closely with the local families planting a variety of fruits and vegetables including: tomato, bittern melon, cucumber, pineapple, corn, banana and roots crops like cassava.
The mothers and children harvest the crops and sell them with 50% of the profits paid to the mothers for their work and 50% going back into the garden.
“This community garden is a powerful way to help the people of Cangumbang,” said VFV Sponsorship Program Coordinator Maila Lesterio.
“It is much more effective to educate a local community on how they can help themselves rather than only giving them what they need.”
*Written by volunteer Emma Bailie, journalist from Australia